The House and Senate have officially announced their respective conferees for the 2018 Farm Bill. In total, 56 have been assigned to the conference committee, including members from both the Senate and House Agriculture Committees as well as from committees with jurisdiction in the bill. National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) President and Sentinel, Okla., wheat farmer, Jimmie Musick, made the following statement:
“NAWG applauds the House and Senate for moving forward with the 2018 Farm Bill reauthorization process by assigning members to the conference committee. While there is still much work to be done, we are pleased that House and Senate leadership are keeping up the momentum by completing this crucial next step in finalizing a 2018 Farm Bill.
“While reconciling differences between the two bills, NAWG urges members to put politics aside and growers first by completing one bill that works for all of agriculture. In our discussions with the conference committee, we will continue to fight to prevent cuts to crop insurance and ensure growers have access to a strong safety net program.
“NAWG remains committed to prioritizing working lands programs in the farm bill and ensuring that wheat growers have access to conservation stewardship and practices-based payments. Voluntary conservation programs should address the resource concerns of all production areas and especially semi-arid regions with dryland farming where there is significant wheat production.
“Additionally, we will work to make sure the final bill has a fully funded research title, so growers can have access to the innovative technology allowing them to continue to produce a healthy crop at a lower cost for the consumer.
“NAWG will also work with the committee to make sure the 2018 Farm Bill includes strong investment in the Market Access Program (MAP) and the Foreign Market Development Program (FMD) which allow small agricultural businesses to build export markets overseas.
“We are looking forward to working with members and their staff throughout this process and hope to finalize a bill by the Sept. 30 deadline.”